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Oregon's Altman, MSU's Fish to visit Great Falls in August - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Oregon's Altman, MSU's Fish to visit Great Falls in August

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BOZEMAN -

Dana Altman, one of college basketball’s most successful coaches whose Oregon Ducks are positioned as one of the nation’s best teams entering 2016-17, visits Great Falls for An Evening with Bobcat Basketball on August 4.

Altman reunites with former long-time assistant coach Brian Fish, Montana State’s third-year head coach, for an evening of basketball talk and laughter at The Do Bar from 6-9 pm. The three-time Pac 12 Coach of the Year and Fish will interact with fans and entertain questions throughout the evening.

Altman’s 27-year journey as a Division I head men’s basketball coach has featured seven coach of the year awards in four conferences, nine post-season tournament titles and four league regular season titles, and nearly 600 wins. His 2015-16 Ducks squad finished 31-7 and advanced to within one contest of the Final Four. At the beginning, though, was a chance encounter with a player who graduated from Marshal just before Altman took that his first head coaching job at that school in 1989.

“You can’t control who gives you your first job,” said Bobcat men’s coach Brian Fish, who joined Altman’s first coaching staff as a graduate assistant just after finishing his own playing career with the Herd. “I was very fortunate that Coach (Altman) gave me the opportunity. It’s been a great relationship.”

Altman’s influence is visible throughout Fish’s career. He moved with Altman to Kansas State a year later, then on to Creighton four seasons later. After coaching with Billy Tubbs at TCU and Brad Holland at San Diego, Fish rejoined Altman at Creighton in 2004 then followed him to Oregon in 2010.

As Altman’s Oregon squad is positioned to reach new heights in 2016-17, Fish’s Bobcats are trending up. Montana State won seven games Fish’s first season, doubling that total last year. Led by returning Big Sky Freshman of the Year Tyler Hall and a blend of seasoned veterans and talented newcomers, a Bobcat program that has enjoyed just one winning campaign in the last dozen seasons appears ready to challenge the Big Sky’s perennial powers.

“Coach Altman has always preached the value of continually working to get better,” he said. “You can see his willingness to grind, the commitment to working hard, in every part of his program. As we move forward I hope people will see that same quality in our program.”

Tickets for the Great Falls event, which begins with a 6 pm social, cost $50 each. The program begins at 7 pm, and the night features raffles and drawings ranging from MSU and Oregon gear and a custom-knitted Bobcat quilt to a trip to Portland for a Ducks game. For information, contact Jasmine Lipka in the Bobcat Basketball office at 406/994-4442.

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